Changing the layout of the Gantt Chart

The layout of a Gantt Chart refers to the appearance of link lines, date formats used for information displayed near taskbars, the height of taskbars, and how Project displays certain characteristics of taskbars.

Figure 8-13: Adding rows to each task can make your schedule easier to read.
Figure 8-14: In the table, I changed the number of rows for Normal tasks. At the bottom of the dialog box, I added Baseline Duration to the bottom row of Normal tasks.

Note In views other than the Gantt Chart view, layout affects different elements. For example, in the Calendar view, layout affects the order in which Project lists multiple tasks on one calendar day and how it splits date bars. And, as you'll read in the next section, layout in the Network Diagram Chart view affects link lines and how Project handles page breaks.

To modify the layout, choose FormatOLayout. In the Gantt Chart view, the Layout dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-15.

Figure 8-15: Because layout affects different elements in different views, the Layout dialog box for the Gantt Chart view is different than the Layout dialog box for the Network Diagram and Calendar views.

Caution ^ If you have a short schedule with many tasks running only hours in length, don't round taskbars to whole days.


No Undo button exists for the changes that Project applies to your schedule when you use the Layout dialog box. Save your project before you start. If you don't like the results, close your project without saving it and reopen it.

The options that you can set for the Gantt Chart layout are as follows:

♦ Links: Click one of these option buttons to display either no link lines or to use one of the available styles. Remember, link lines graphically display dependency relationships among tasks. To take a quick look at your schedule with no dependency information showing, use the choice of no link lines in this dialog box.

♦ Date format: Use this drop-down list to select a date or time format. Two interesting date formats include a week number (W5/1 and W5/1/02 12:33 PM) of the year and the day of the week. Therefore, W24/3/03 is June 11, 2003 (the third day of the 24th full week of 2003).

Note Your nation or industry may use conventions for numbering weeks that may be different than what Project produces.

♦ Bar height: Select a height in points for the taskbars in your Gantt Chart.

The check boxes in the Layout dialog box have the following effects:

♦ Always roll up Gantt bars: This setting gives you the freedom to display your Gantt schedule by rolling up tasks onto summary bars.

♦ Hide rollup bars when summary expanded: This check box works with the preceding check box to hide rollup behavior if your schedule is completely

♦ Round bars to whole days: This option works well on longer schedules but not as well on schedules with tasks that tend to run in hourly or half-day increments.

♦ Show bar splits: This option provides graphic representation of split tasks on the Gantt Chart.

Note Split tasks are tasks that start, then stop for a time, and then start again. For exam ple, if you expect to begin hiring employees for the project, but you know that your company imposes a two-week hiring freeze during the last two weeks of the year for accounting purposes, you can create a split task (see Chapter 9). The setting for splits in the Layout dialog box simply enables you to show the split task as separate taskbars or as one continuous taskbar.

♦ Show drawings: If you select this check box, Project displays drawings that you've inserted on your chart.

Make any choices in the Layout dialog box, and click OK to implement them.


See Chapter 6 for more on Project's rollup capabilities.

You cannot undo the changes that Project makes when you use the Layout dialog box. You can only close the project without saving it and then reopen it.

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